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March 28, 2018

"Roseanne" Reboot Bows to Monster 18 Million Viewer Audience

Deplorably huge.

The revival of Roseanne premiered to massive ratings Tuesday night.

The return delivered an incredible 18.2 million viewers along with an equally impressive 5.1 rating among adults 18-49.

According to ABC, this is the highest-rated comedy telecast on any network in nearly four years (since a premiere episode of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory from 2014).


In the adult demo, it also trumps Sunday’s blockbuster 60 Minutes episode which featured an interview with Stormy Daniels.


A couple other data points: This is Tuesday's highest-rated entertainment telecast in six years among young adults and ABC’s best results in the time slot since 2006.

BTW, Roseanne's husband "Dan," played by John Goodman, died in season 9 of the 11-season show. They pulled a Bobby-in-the-Shower. (A reference that I, as a nearly-29-year-old, do not understand at all, but I think it might ring a bell with older readers.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The episode started with a joke about Roseanne thinking Dan was dead. Did you feel like you immediately need to address the fact that John Goodman’s character was killed off at the end of season 9?

BRUCE RASMUSSEN: Yeah. We wanted to get it out of the way and it was impossible to do it halfway, so we just wanted to make a joke of it, since it was such a big deal after the original 9. Roseanne was on board doing that as well. It's like, okay, we are explaining how he’s back and we’re going to move past that pretty quick.

I was never a fan of the show because I was never a fan of Roseanne. The few minutes I saw, the show seemed to be going for a "dramedy" vibe, with some dark moments (like angry arguments between Dan and Roseanne which weren't played for laughs, but for drama). I guess I sort of could respect the show for attempting realistic material, but it just wasn't my bag to see angry arguments between family members in something that was supposed to be a comedy.

So I have no dog in this race and I really don't care.

Except for the political angle, of course.

Roseanne Barr is one of Hollywood's few out-and-proud Trump supporters, and so his her character on the show. Her sister Jackie is presented as Hillary supporter who voted third party (realistic enough!) and who wears a "Nasty Woman" sweatshirt at her introduction.

Roger Simon thinks the show might be able to "save America" by humanizing both sides of the argument that has divided friends and family and political parties, and reminding us that we're all kind of foolish, not the Conquering Heroes battling Insidious Villains many of us privately like to fantasize ourselves as in our personal, self-narrated movies of our lives.

Or maybe not: the most upvoted comment at the delirious New York Times states something like, "Thanks for telling me Roseanne is pro-Trump, I'll never watch this Satanic Filth." You know, the same people who always tell us to not judge the work by the politics but by the craft of it, when it's a political message they approve of.

Party of Reason, yo.

Jazz Shaw gives a mixed review, generally liking the show, but finding it spasmodic in its rush to introduce every possible checklist hot-button issue into the show for future comedic/dramatic/political exploitation, including Darlene's genderf*** son who identifies as a boy (in Current Year, we must specify a boy identifies as boy) but who prefers to cross-dress as a girl.

I guess that's the sort of thing I didn't like about the original show: It was Norman Learish in its fixation on "heavy" material, believing that to be a sign of maturity and depth.

Eh, maybe. But: such dramedy fare insists upon itself.

This show was in that category of things that I can respect without actually liking or even having any interest in. (Though my respect for it was mostly due to other people thinking it was good; I've seen maybe twenty minutes of it in my life.)

I'm not interested in the show, but I am interested in following the political/cultural reaction to it.

Did you guys see it? What did you think?

One thing I've said about Roseanne years ago on this site, and still believe: Even though she was/is obnoxious AF, I did respect one thing about her -- she advocated a kind of blue-collar liberalism more tangibly connected to people's daily lives. She wasn't as big into Gentry Liberalism, a politics of well-off people who no longer have to sweat minor little things like America's declining manufacturing base and who are thus free to be Concerned about fair trade shade-grown coffee, sexual issues involving very small segments of the population, and drowning polar bears. Though I mostly disagreed with her, I at least thought she was generally talking about things I thought actually mattered.

Also, I can't completely hate her because she was one of Norm MacDonald's earliest employers and he speaks very, very highly of her.

Bonus: Nontalent Tom Arnold demonstrates, once again, that the funniest thing that ever came out of his mouth was Roseanne's tit.

As someone once said of Joe Piscopo dick-riding Eddie Murphy: Tom Arnold let Roseanne Barr's success get to his head.

(PS, I like Joe Piscopo. I'm only citing that as a good zinger, not because I know it's a true claim.)

More: Excerpts from Roseanne Barr's fairly sensible interview with the New York Times-- with Barr declining the New York Times' invitations to declare herself "Not one of those kinds of deplorables" -- at The Federalist, so you can click guilt-free as you enjoy your sun-grown, unfair-trade coffee.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 05:12 PM

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